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Marilyn Mornoe. And Playboy.

November 19, 2012

According to news reports, Playboy magazine will feature a retrospective collection of Marilyn Monroe photos in an upcoming issue.

First thing:

As a kid I, like other boys my age, were fascinated with Marilyn Monroe. We loved to ogle photos of her, watched her movies, engaged in dreams about her. And that voice! If only the girls our age talked like that. I remember the day I was watching a Chicago Cubs baseball game on TV, and a news bulletin broke in to announce her death. Shocking.

Second thing:

As a young writer my dream was to have a short-story published in Playboy. It was just as good as, maybe better than, being published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Esquire. I never made any of them.

But Playboy was tops. It ran at least three short-stories every issue, sometimes more. And the list of authors was impressive: Vladimir Nabokov, P.G. Wodehouse, Ian Fleming, James Jones, Irwin Shaw, Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Kerouac, Harold Pinter, Jean Shepherd, Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury, Alberto Moravia.

Playboy is a different magazine today than it was in my youth. Believe it or not, men did buy it to read the articles and stories in addition to looking at the pictures. The Playboy Interview with Kurt Vonnegut really opened my eyes to the world of writing.

Yes, the magazine had photos of naked women, but it also published really good fiction. And did you know that the great playwright, screenwriter and director David Mamet once worked at a sister publication called Oui? He wrote captions for photos.

 

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